Carl Melissas – An Artist at Work

Approximately 16 months ago, I had a Carl Melissas beer on the very night he left Green Man.  Prior to that it had been several years – as far back as his days at Bullfrog Brewery.  I knew he would be surfacing again, but unsure how soon.

So I was thrilled to learn details from Asheville beer friends James and Tony that Carl’s beers will be available possibly by the end of the month!  The Wedge Brewing Co. is located at 151 Roberts Street in the French Broad River Arts District of Asheville, NC and Carl has begun production on Iron Rail IPA, which will be available at the tasting room. Citizen-Times has five photos of the place.

Carl is a beer artist, and during his time at Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport, PA (approximately September 2002 through January 2004) he created some wonderfully creative brews, such as Organic Carob Maple Porter, Raspberry Imperial Stout and Flander’s Golden Ale. Between his years at Bullfrog and Green Man, he was brewing in Georgia. I was thrilled on my first trip to Asheville to learn that he was there, and thoroughly enjoyed his IPA on cask at Green Man in February 2006. I understand that he also brought many fabulous beers to the people of Asheville during his Green Man years (among them, the award-winning Belgian-style Merlin Tripel at 8.4% ABV and Golem – a Belgian strong ale described as “spicy and hoppy, with a sweet, pear-like flavor that finishes dry and slightly bitter” – at 8.8% ABV.)

And now Wedge Gallery owner Tim Schaller is putting his money on Carl to do great things for the Asheville beer scene.

I credit Carl (or at least the results of his work) for helping me get through one of the more painful times in my life – frequent long drives from Harrisburg to Williamsport and back to visit my dying grandfather were comforted by his inventive offerings. Some nights I just stopped in for a half-pint, other times I would dine with my family or bring home a growler. I’ve heard negative commentary on his personal appearance and his business sense, but I have never heard an adverse criticism on his ability to create fabulous beer.

Congratulations to Carl and to Asheville. I look forward to seeing how things go, and hope we can visit soon!

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